The Department of Natural Resources will host more than 30 candlelight events at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, including one at Lake Carlos State Park Saturday, Feb. 8. Drop by any time between 6-9 p.m. for skiing, snowshoeing or hiking as stars twinkle overhead and candles flicker in the snow.
“Few things transform a winter evening like soft light on snow,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Candles and lanterns help to create a magical experience, especially when coupled with light from the moon and a starry sky.”
The two-mile ski trail starts at the lower campground/boat access area and the 1.3-mile snowshoe trail start at the beach and is suitable for beginner-level skiers, snowshoers or hikers of all ages. Snowshoes can be rented at the park office during the event for $6/pair on a first come, first serve basis. Ski passes are required for those looking to ski during the event. Please be respectful and leave the ski trails for skiing only, no walking or snowshoeing.
The evening wraps up with a cup of hot cider, cookies, and roasted marshmallows near a crackling bonfire at the Lakeview Warming Shelter.
Save time – get vehicle permits and ski passes in advance online
A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks. Although permits are available at the park, you can save time by getting one in advance. Visit mndnr.gov/reservations to buy a one-day ($7) or year-round ($35) permit.
Those age 16 and older will also need the Great Minnesota Ski Pass if they plan to cross-country ski. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass ($10 for a day pass, $25 for an annual pass or $70 for three seasons) allows cross-country skiers age 16 or older to access miles of groomed trails in Minnesota state parks, state forests or on grant-in-aid trails (mndnr.gov/skiing).
In the event of severe weather, call (320) 852-7200 for updates or check the visitor alert online at the Lake Carlos webpage.
Find more candlelight events in the online calendar
Other candlelight events will take place throughout the state in January and February, offering a variety of terrain and scenery. For the complete schedule – including dates, times, and other details – visit mndnr.gov/candlelight.
For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at [email protected] or (888) 646-6367 (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday).